Nasscom Community

SaaS Strategy Playbook Series: Product Development (1/6)

2 Mins read

SaaS Strategy Playbook Series: Product Development (1/6)

The way SaaS has grown over the years, as per research Indian’s SaaS can create $1 trillion in value by 2030. With around 1000 start-ups, 10 unicorns Indian SaaS has grown at a substantial pace in past few years.

SaaS is one of those few sectors where start-ups have played a big role in the growth. But for this sector to grow at the same pace, a strategy playbook needs to be defined for entrepreneurs to follow. This strategy playbook will act as a guide for the start-ups to follow while dealing in this business. We have divided this playbook into 4 parts:

  1. Product Development
  2. Launch Preparation
  3. Product Launch
  4. Post Launch


SaaS Playbook 1


  • Identify target segment and build personas to understand their needs and pain points
  • Stay close to the customers to develop a Product Market Fit
  • Lean Start-up Methodology- Think Big, Start Small and Scale Fast
  • Achieve faster product adoption with quality product, fanatical support and frictionless onboarding


  • Over 10 pricing strategies exist in SaaS Landscape
  • Pricing should be a function of Target Segment, Business Model, Competition and Vision
  • Localized pricing specific to each operating geography
  • Website Pricing Page- At least 3 pricing tiers with specific call to action


  • Focus on Serviceable Obtainable Market when launching your product
  • Achieve greater visibility on Internet through SEO
  • Use Bull’s eye Framework to select appropriate mix of growth channels
  • Geographic Expansion-Building a product for an emerging market helps validate and refine it, before it is introduced to a mature market


  • SaaS Marketing Mix

    • Content Strategy
    • Content Distribution
    • Product Optimization
    • Offline Market Traction
    • Empower Delighted Customers
    • Employee Success
  • Catch customers before they have chance to churn
  • Partnerships can amplify your sales, but you need to provide value to partners and customer in return

In this blog we will cover 1st part of strategy playbook which is “Product Development”. Product Development comprises of 2 aspects: Customer centric approach and Lean start-up methodology

  1. Customer centric approach for product development

Customer Needs:

  • Interview customers to understand pain points
  • Identify values that are most important to ideal customers

Use Case: Slack identified lack of efficient workplace communication system. Most important features identified- Search, Simple File Sharing

Minimum Viable Product:

  • Prioritize product’s unique features
  • Develop MVP basis customer/market need
  • Iterate on MVP basis customer feedback
  • Test for scalability

Use Case: Slack developed MVP in 6 months and tested internally, provided MVP to other companies and understood Slack had scalability issues. They also Iterated all customer feedback and developed beta product for release

Beta Launch:

  • Beta launch to gather feedback of early adopters
  • Iterate on the feedback

Use Case: Slack beta launched the iterated version of MVP. No major issues occurred as there were many iterations on customer feedback at MVP stage.


  1. Lean Start-up – “Think Big, Start Small and Scale Fast”

Shorter Development Cycle: Building Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Khatbook’s app was launched which no backend, very basic front end but had 60K+ users in 2 years after launch of MVP

Reduced Redevelopment Cycle: Continuous Refinement & refactoring of product as it is developed, efficient error-catching mechanism in pre-production phase. Chargebee follows lean model for quick rolling of new features

Higher Innovation Rate: Intuit heavily relies on “Intrapreneurship”, development and fostering of entrepreneurial endeavours inside company walls, faster execution of ideas and shorter execution time for its products

Lower Development Costs: Focus on limited features with focussed mindset, reduced wastages of human time and efforts. Canvas app was created early on with zero money

Lower Risk Rate: Immediate Customer feedback model minimizes risk rate, low impact of technology change. reduced risk rate with MVP & iterated on customer feedbacks

In our next blog we will discuss about 2nd aspect of strategy playbook, “Launch Preparation”.